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In an area of increasing urbanization, the Blue Ridge Parkway provides wildlife with a 469-mile long refuge.

From mountaintops to valley bottoms, small seeps to large rivers, and agricultural fields to old growth forests, the Parkway offers a wide range of habitats for a wide range of animal species. As animals continue to lose their habitats on adjoining lands, they can still be found in the forests and streams along the Parkway. Seventy-four different mammals, along with more than 50 salamanders and 35 reptiles can be found on Parkway lands. One hundred fifty-nine species of birds are known to nest here with dozens of others passing through during fall and spring migrations. A large diversity of fish species includes many that are endemic to the Blue Ridge region.

Several animals eradicated from the Southern Appalachians are now making a comeback. Beavers, peregrine falcons and river otters, gone from the Southern Appalachians not long ago can now be found along the Parkway. Others that were reduced to low numbers, such as wild turkeys and black bears, are making a strong comeback. Together these animals help to restore the biological health of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Blue Ridge Parkway National Park Service (NPS) offers extensive species lists for the area which you can download below. The wildlife is a major attraction for many visitors.


As part of a Service-wide effort, the Blue Ridge Parkway NPS has established more than 250 inventory and monitoring plots. Researchers and park staff will use these plots over the next several years to inventory plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish. As the data are collected the Parkway’s list of species will surely grow.

Blue Ridge Parkway National Park Service, “Nature & Science”, “Animals”, “Blue Ridge Mountains”

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